The portfolio site…

The portfolio site is not complete yet, but it is slowly coming together. I’m sort of doing a combination of revising and adding new content to this blog while working on the site so some of the links over there may very well not work as they should, etc. That’s because I don’t have the full content on the site live yet, or even created locally in some cases. However, over the next few months (or possibly even years?) I’ll be adding more and editing more both here on this blog and at the site… I plan to get it all put together strategically and working well cohesively as my next ‘big project’ that I’m working on an hour or three every day as I find the free time to work on it.

In the not-too-distant future that free time will start going down a bit as our new baby is on the way. However, I’m sure that I’ll still have some time for this ‘hobby’ to finally come together the way that I’m wanting it to. It’s been something that’s sort of been on the backburner since 1999 that I always wanted to do, but never took the full time to actually do til now, at least not as completely as I plan to do this thing… The artfolio part of the new site is the part that is most put together thus far, and only a few pages of the oil painting is really up so far… That is at http://jeffthomann.cwahi.net/artfolio/index.shtml.

Most of the other sections are not up yet…

The ‘old’ portfolio site at http://jeffthomann.cwahi.net/ is still up and running for the here and now… but over time it’ll be phased out and replaced with the new site… It’s just going to take some time, and I don’t want to completely delete the old one all the way until the new one is at least fully working.

I plan ultimately to have a cross link from every blog post with the artwork to the page on the site with the artwork, and use the blog to sort of have an ongoing commentary about each work of art on the site that is probably a bit more lengthy and more of a dialogue than really needs to be on the ‘official’ site… but is still related, so there will be the cross linking to make it all easily accessible…

As time goes by, I’ll probably edit the blog heavily on past posts so that stuff that is really ‘portfolio’ quality is all that’s in the portfolio category, etc.

As I do this, I’m also starting to keep a spreadsheet of all the links, titles, copyright dates, etc. of everything much more complete and in depth than I ever have before. I may publish some portions of that spreadsheet in the future so that it’ll help any viewers or collectors out there find things just as it’ll eventually help myself find things as sometimes finding stuff you are looking for in a blog is not the easiest thing in the world to do… As I create new works of art in the future, they will get added to this ongoing project… so it’s really sort of just establishing a groundwork to eventually build my art career from at a level that I haven’t taken the time to do yet for a variety of reasons.

Remember, the ‘artfolio’ is more about all of my artwork, including works in progress, works never completed etc. as well as more thoroughly completed works that I’d consider ‘portfolio’ quality. The ‘portfolio’ is just that – completed ‘portfolio’ quality works, i.e. top notch stuff, at least in my opinion. To get to the ‘artfolio’ portion of the blog you can use the artfolio category tag, and to get to the portfolio part of the blog you can use the portfolio category tag.

Happy viewing! πŸ™‚

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http://publicdomainremix.wordpress.com/

I’ve created a new blog that is located at http://publicdomainremix.wordpress.com/

I know, I promised to only have this blog, but I can’t help but wanting to create new blogs for various purposes, while keeping this main blog from being a spam trap type of thing. The new blog at http://publicdomainremix.wordpress.com/ is mainly going to be used to locate, use, and remix various public domain video, images, audio, text, and other interesting things. The public domain is a very wide arena that has a bunch of potential for a lot of different things in my opinion, and I want to start exploring that wide and crazy world of public domain remixes. I have a lot of ideas on where to go with that.

The other main blog that I maintain currently, if you have not figured it out yet (since it’s linked over in widget to the right) is http://www.mastermesh.wordpress.com. That’s where I keep my delicious.com bookmarks backed up. I like posting those to a blog since I bookmark a ton of different places.

Mixing colors… It’s not what you think it is.

There are two color spectrums that are important in the arts. One is real light and how it mixes in the real world. The other is reflected light and how it works in the real world. Real lighting is visible in Stage Lighting, Computer Screens, TVs, and just about anywhere that there is a real light source – light bulb, sun, window, etc. The primary colors of real light are red, green, and blue.

The primary colors of reflected light on the other hand are red, yellow, and blue. In the print world, black is also added to that to arrive at a spectrum that is abbreviated CYMK – Cyan (Red), Yellow, Magenta (Blue), and BlaCK – CK is used for Black so that it’s not confused with Blue.

Mixing primary colors in real light results in white where the colors overlap. This is easily demonstrated in stage lighting by simply aiming 3 lights at the same area, where each one has a filter on it that matches the 3 primary colors – red, green, and blue. Where the three colors overlaps on the stage or wall or whever the lights are aimed together, there’s white that shows up in the middle.

Painting and other forms of art where color is placed on an object utilize the reflected light spectrum since the paper, canvas, or whatever else is typically not a light source itself. What is really weird about reflected light is that the science behind it does something completely different from what you think it’s doing. The color we see on an object is really what’s reflecting back at us off of that object when the real light hits the object. In other words the “colors” we see in everything that is not a real light source is really an absence of that particular color in the object itself – all the other colors of the spectrum are “absorbed” by the object, so what we see is really the opposite of the color that the object really is. We see the color that bounced back at us and was not absorbed.

Because of that weird way that things work, mixing primary colors with paint usually results in a muddy brown mid-tone color with low intensity. That’s completely different than what happens when real light’s primary colors are mixed.

That means that most stuff that you see on screen will usually look a lot darker than it did in the computer when you print it, especially since printers add more than the primary colors, and throw black in too.

It also means that when you go to mix colors as a painter, you have to think completely differently than when you mix colors with real light, like when you are thinking about interior design issues in stage lighting, or just picking out lights to put in to your bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, or living room.

What gets very interesting is that some sculptures and other forms of art mix and match both light spectrums through backlighting, integrating tv screens in to the artform, adding lights to sculptures, etc. Sculpture is actually a whole different baseball game all together since it can incorporate time and space in to it through relationships of shadows in the real world, locations of the sun at various times of the day and year, etc. Video and painting can do that too on some levels depending on where the painting is placed, what the environment the painting is in, and of course one of the primary elements of video is time – the 4th dimension to 3 Dimensional works so to speak.

With painting, drawing, and other reflected light art forms, there is also a lot going on with how elements of the painting work with one another. Layering colors together is sort of one of the main things painters do. We create depth and dimension to a 2 dimensional plane by placing brush strokes, and other elements next to one another, on top of one another, underneath one another… There’s literally a ton of work that goes in to this sort of stuff sometimes to make a “realistic” artwork. What’s sad though is most viewers of these things that may have taken hundreds of hours to put together typically only view the work for 3-10 seconds at the most unless something in partcular catches their eye or interest in the work.

Big sculptures and video have a little bit of an advantage over painting in that regard – the viewer is forced in to watching looking at those types of things for longer periods of time, leaving more time for the work to create an impression and message. However, painting has a “presence” that exists longer sometimes, in some works. It is a visual thing that can haunt you over time as your brain echos seeing the patterns on the image over and over.

Creating works of art is a bit like wandering through a maze. You have tons of decisions to make, and each one creates subsequent decisions to make. The painting with the most “potnential energy” might well be the blank canvas… just as the work of music that might create the most interest and cause you to think about things is complete silence…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUJagb7hL0E

Art is life. Life is art. Neither are a reflection of one another because both just are. They exist not in parallel to one another, or as a mirror to one another, but coexist, sometimes peacefully, other times in chaos. Out of chaos comes creation many times, and creation usually does eventually lead to some form of chaos.

The entire universe was created with a major big bang explosion of chaos, and from that came the beauty that we call life.

Converting stuff from one pen and paper rpg game system to another – World of Darkness and Palladium Books

Converting Characters, Powers, etc. from one gaming fantasy world in to another is not usually too difficult because most stats in most games are fairly similar on some level. Usually there is a roll done to check if some action is successful or not. If it is successful, there sometimes is another roll to determine what actually happens, or how successful the success was. The different gaming systems have different ways of doing that – some use D20s, some use D10s, some use D6s, and some actions, especially those that are skill based instead of against a particular player character or non-player character, are based on on a percentage, usually determined by two D10s are rolled, and one counts as the 10s part of the % and the other counts as the ones part of the %. A roll of 9 and 9 would be 99%. A roll of 0 and one would be 1% unless the one was in the tens slot, in which case it would be a 10%. On skill checks like that, the Game Master, or some pre-planned skill check base is used to determine if the roll is over the amount needed to successfully do whatever it is that the character is trying to do.

Since everything in all gaming systems is based on a check for success of failure, it’s usually just a matter of comparing the two systems you are trying to convert to or from against one another to see in what way you can play with the numbers to get to the average and go from there in all conversions.

For instance, World of Darkness games are usually based on dots that make up attributes or skills. 5 dots is usually considered about the highest humanly possible attribute. 10 dots is considered about as powerful as god in whatever skill that it is that those points are in. In that system, each dot represents a 10 sided dice that is rolled to check against some number, usually determined by the books or the game master – oops, I mean “story teller.”

In other books like Palladiumbooks Rifts, Hereoes Unlimited, etc. Most non-combat actions are based on skill checks that are % based, and most combat actions are based on the roll of a D20 to determine if a hit, punch, or power that is used successfully hits. That is sometimes contested by another characters roll of a D20 for defensive actions such as parrying, dodging, etc. If no defensive moves are used, the attackers D20 roll is usually contested against the other character’s armor, which has an armor rating… Rolls above the armor’s rating does damage to the character inside of the armor. Rolls below that do damage to the armor itself, unless the armor is a special armor such as a mutant’s metal power that gives them a high armor rating, in which case a roll below the armor rating usually does no damage. A roll of a “natural 20” or 90% or more is typically a super success, usually doing twice as much damage, or making the successful check against a skill super successful. For instance, you checked against your lockpick skill to open a bank vault – a roll of 95% when you just needed a 70% might mean you got in, no alarms went off, and there is actually the keys to a lamberghini parked outside that has no alarm system sitting on the floor of the vault. A roll of 1 or 2% is usually a miserable failure – so in the same situation, that would result in a full swat team showing up, the alarm going off, and you broke your lockpick and got your fingerprints all over the place.

I have played both of those game systems and loved them and successfully integrated them by simply thinking about how the dot system works vs the % system and the D20 system. Different people doing different conversions might come up with other conversions, but what I typically came up with was that 5 dots = 99% or so, so each dot = about 20% for skill checks… and on average, one dot = +3 in d20 rolls, giving 5 dots +15 advantage on all d20 rolls, which is really just about the best most powers and things can give you in the Palliadium world.

Now go put all those vampires, werewolves, mummies, wraiths, and things in to your Rifts or Heroes Unlimited Campaign to add a whole bunch of new layers of complexity to the world… or go the other way and put some of those nearly unkillable vampires from Heroes Unlimited up against the Camarilla of Chicago or the Sabbat of New York City, etc. Perhaps a new vampire hunter is an invulnerable mutant with supersonic speed. Maybe a demigod from Rifts World Books have found a rift in to the World of Darkness and have decided to take on the eternal mummies or maybe even Caine and Lilith one on one. There’s literally unlimited potential to bring your heroes unlimited opportunities for role playing.

In a future post I might put in some rules about converting to and from other game systems.

Feeds…

There’s a few feeds that will start showing up here in this blog today thanks to Twitterfeed and PingFM. The ones that I’m adding today are Entropia Gateway – the official blog of Entropia Universe, Atlas Haven Radio’s Tweets – which is Atlas Haven Radio’s Twitter Tweets, and Satteliteguys.us’s Tweets too. I also added a link to CGW’s recent articles because I like to read them and log in here at my own blog more than often than I have time to read their website all the time.

The reason that I’m adding these is that I personally like to follow stuff like this and think a lot of other folks do too if they are reading this blog. Each of these postings has a short url at the end that can take you to the original source, so no, this is not splog or copyright infringment or whatever… If these folks did not want people following their info, they would not have put together nice RSS Feeds to make this sort of stuff possible. Right now, even though there are ads on this blog, I’m not making any money off of them. I consider this to be a personal blog, not a commercial blog, even though it’s about showing you my interests, hobbies, etc.

Atlas Haven Radio Feed Posts will be prefixed as AHR:
Entropia Gateway’s Feed Posts will be prefixed as E.Gate:
Satelliteguys Blog Feed Posts will be prefixed as S.Guys:
Computer Graphic World’s Article Feeds will be prefixed as CGW:

I’m trying to keep the prefixes short since tweets are already pretty limited in how long they can be, and the prefix only makes the tweets even shorter. Hopefully they are still long enough to be useable.

Happy reading.

Things are a bit hectic.

Things are a bit hectic in my life at the moment, so I may not post here as much as I want to the next several weeks. We might be moving before long, which could impact how much weekend and afternoon time I have to post in here.

Also, at the moment I’m trying to work on uploading as many darn photos, and scans as I can to Shutterfly. When I get everything that I’ve got on the hard drive up there, I’ll be a bit more comfortable, and start taking the postings in here and some of the places I link to from here in a variety of directions. Family photos, and vacations photos on Shutterfly will likely be emailed to family members, especially for photos that I’ve never printed but that are still worth keeping.

Texture and stock photos (clouds, asphalt, concrete, bricks, etc.) will be grouped in to various albums on Shutterfly that I’ll email to myself.

I will also group photos on the hard drive more. It’s a bit of a pain since sometimes there’s naming issues as several photos that need to go in the same grouping folders have the same name. Little programs to rename things can be used to fix that… It’s just a bit time consuming organizing it all, but in the end it’ll be worth it. Ultimately, I’ll probably zip up similar stock photo themes – like clouds, concrete & bricks, etc. and upload them to the3dstudio and turbosquid to sell as zip file groups. I think a lot of the individual photos are on turbosquid already, but not too many zip files. I might also make some of the stuff freebies…

In the mean time, whenever I do get free weekends again, I’ll probably continue trying to scan my photos, and eventually photograph my paintings and things. I tried to photograph a few things in my portfolio a couple of years ago, but the lighting was too blown out of proportion due to the fact that I was doing it outside in the middle of the day when the sun is really too bright for that sort of thing.

Eventually, when I get this massive backlog of things organized and online where I want them and linked to from this blog, I will move foward in trying to do more stuff in the future. Every day I carry a camera and a couple of voice recorders with me to work… I also have a couple of boxes of color pencils and sketchbooks that I keep at work, in the car, and at home in case I get inspired to work in a sketchbook or on a panel at any time on breaks, waiting around in the car for an oil change, or whatever. There’s always time for art if you can just make the time! πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚